Fall 2003 Bruin
REAL WORLD EXPERIENCE
Reed Hutchinson '71,
UCLA Photographic services
Schrodi works on
Matthew Marks’ braces while his mom observes.
Marina Dundjerski '94
than two decades, the School of Dentistry’s Orthodontic Clinic
has been treating patients of all ages, using the most up-to-date technologies
available, for a fraction of the cost of private practices.
What many patients don’t know is that the residents treating
them — under the supervision of a faculty member — are among the
top 3 percent of their class. Each year, about 6,700 apply to residency programs
in orthodontics in Canada, the United States and Puerto Rico; only 290 are accepted,
says Dentistry Professor Leroy Vego, “and we usually get the top pick.
It’s an exclusive club.”
For pediatric dentistry and orthodontics resident Janet Schrodi,
the direct connection to patients is what’s most beneficial. “Sometimes
in a really fast-paced private practice, the orthodontist is overseeing treatment
and is not necessarily the person doing the work,” she says.
Karyn M. Marks, a transplant coordinator in the Dumont-UCLA
Transplant Center, has been bringing her 14-year-old son Matthew to the clinic
for three years.
Matthew lacks two permanent teeth, so his treatment includes
closing that gap. “On every visit we show Mrs. Marks how the progress
is coming along,” Schrodi says.
Adds Karyn Marks, “It’s been really nice to know
exactly what’s going on.” Matthew concurs. “I really like
their attitude. They’re not pushy,” he says. “The doctors
let you understand what they’re doing.”
Matthew said the experience has inspired him to pursue orthodontics
as a career. He’s already begun taking Latin classes in preparation.